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Seminar War Game Course

Defence Technology Agency, Devonport, April 2013

The Zefra Scenario

The Zefra scenario provides the background for a short role-playing game. It will be used as an example during discussions about planning and conducting analysis of a seminar war game.


The topic of scenarios is included under analysis (instead of under background on preparing for a game) since the scenarios must be intimately connected to (and derived from) a study's analysis objectives:

Methods for Developing Scenarios

Civilian Realm

Military and National Security Realms

Introductory Video
Handbooks for Scenario Development

Player Material in Advance

For anything above the most games, participants should be provided with a compilation of background material so they can prepare accordingly. The scenario or scenarios will be a critical part of this, so the players in particular will be familiar with the situation before they have to confront the issues within the game. For games with strong military aspects, scenario material is usually augmented with several supporting elements, e.g., orders from higher command, maps or charts of the geographic area, orders of battle for the player's own forces, and perhaps of the opposition and coalition forces as well.

The Canadian Handbook provides an example template for a handbook. The contents of this handbook include practical material on running the game, like the 'real world' daily schedule for the gaming activity and a list of participants. For game context there is the scenario, including a map, an OpOrder, orders of battle, and background information on the nations involved and their constituent organizations.

Some of the preparation material that should be given in advance to the participants includes:

Sample Material from the Services

References on scenario design